Industrial Sheet Heating Oven

Thermoforming (Industrial Sheet Heating) is a manufacturing process where plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific part shape in a mold, and trimmed to create a usable product. The sheet, or film when referring to thinner gauges and certain material types, is heated in an oven to a high-enough temperature that it can be stretched into or onto a mold and cooled to a finished shape.

Strict control of sheet temperature is absolutely vital and this is why the choice of Sheet Heating Oven is of paramount importance. Clamping force and vacuum pressure are both important to minimise variability in the final component. As sheet material has plastic memory at high temperatures it is vital to get an optimum operating and uniform temperature of the sheet of plastic. Surface finish on the underside may or may not be critical along with tolerances these factors are largely dependent on the mould design and surface finish. Call on 0114 2327788 to discuss your specific Industrial Sheet Heating Oven Specification or e-mail at [email protected].

Common Plastics and uses
  • Polypropylene (PP) - Food containers, appliances, car fenders (bumpers)
  • Polystyrene (PS) - Packaging foam, food containers, disposable cups, plates, cutlery, CD and cassette boxes
  • High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) - Fridge liners, food packaging, vending cups
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) - Electronic equipment cases (e.g., computer monitors, printers, keyboards), drainage pipe
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) - Carbonated drinks bottles, jars, plastic film, microwavable packaging
  • Polyester (PES) - Fibres, textiles
  • Polyamides or Nylons (PA) - Fibres, toothbrush bristles, fishing line, under-the-hood car engine mouldings
  • Poly or Vinyl Chloride (PVC) - Plumbing pipes and guttering, shower curtains, window frames, flooring
  • Polyurethanes (PU) - Cushioning foams, thermal insulation foams, surface coatings, printing rollers. (Currently 6th or 7th most commonly used plastic material, for instance the most commonly used plastic found in cars)
  • Polycarbonate (PC) - Compact discs, eyeglasses, riot shields, security windows, traffic lights, lenses
  • Polyvinylidene Chloride or Saran (PVDC) - Food packaging
  • Polyethylene (PE) - Wide range of inexpensive uses including supermarket bags, plastic bottles
  • Polycarbonate/Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (PC/ABS) - A blend of PC and ABS that creates a stronger plastic, Car Interior and exterior parts, also used in mobile phone body

Special Purpose Plastics and uses:
  • Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) - contact lenses, glazing (best known in this form by its various trade names around the world, e.g., Perspex, Oroglas, Plexiglas), aglets, fluorescent light diffusers, rear light covers for vehicles
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene or Teflon (PTFE) - Heat-resistant, low-friction coatings, used in things like non-stick surfaces for frying pans, plumber's tape and water slides
  • Polyetheretherketone or Polyetherketone (PEEK) - Strong, chemical and heat resistant thermoplastic, biocompatibility allows for use in medical implant applications, aerospace mouldings. One of the most expensive commercial polymers
  • Polyetherimide or Ultem (PEI) - A high temperature, chemically stable polymer that does not crystallise
  • Phenolics or Phenol Formaldehydes (PF) high modulus, relatively heat resistant, and excellent fire resistant polymer. Used for insulating parts in electrical fixtures, paper laminated products (e.g. Formica), thermally insulation
  • foams. It is a thermosetting plastic, with the familiar trade name Bakelite, that can be moulded by heat and pressure when mixed with a filler-like wood flour or can be cast in its unfilled liquid form or cast as foam, e.g. Oasis.
  • Problems include the probability of mouldings naturally being dark colours (red, green, brown), and as thermoset difficult to recycle
  • Urea Formaldehyde (UF) - One of the aminoplasts and used as a multi-colorable alternative to Phenolics. Used as a wood adhesive (for plywood, chipboard, hardboard) and electrical switch housings
  • Melamine Formaldehyde (MF) - One of the aminoplasts, and used as a multi-colorable alternative to phenolics, for instance in mouldings (e.g. break resistance alternatives to ceramic cups, plates and bowls for children) and the decorated top surface layer of the paper laminates (e.g. Formica)
  • Polylactic Acid - A biodegradable, thermoplastic, found converted into a variety of aliphatic polyesters derived from lactic acid which in turn can be made by fermentation of various agricultural products such as corn starch, once made from dairy products.
  • Plastarch Material - Biodegradable and heat resistant, thermoplastic composed of modified corn starch
  • The Plastics referenced in this section are for information only. Please seek expert guidance in respect to ALL Sheet Heating Applications direct from Airflow. Differing Plastics offer a range of Sheet Heating abilities with some plastics being unsuitable for this type of process.

Airflow prides itself in having the technology and freedom to provide clients with the optimal process based on sound evaluation and testing. Each Sheet Heating Oven is purpose designed to specific material characteristics to your specific requirements taking into account all the variables to ensure optimal performance, reliability and running costs.

Industrial Sheet Heating Ovens Supplied by The Airflow Group
  • Standard Component Design for Modular Construction
  • Lowest Energy Consumption Ovens manufactured in the UK
  • Box Type Construction with Internal Layout to suit your application
  • Air Circulation & Ducting System allowing for uniform Temperature Control
  • Installation Team with expertise of the removal of old equipment and post commissioning servicing
  • Rigid Construction using the best components for long term performance
  • Process Ovens come complete with a unique air distribution air ducting system, set off the walls of the oven unlike many of our competitors
  • Multiple dampers, vents and louvers which we can expertly adjust to achieve exceptional performance
  • Multiple thermocouples to a laptop computer to obtain a telementry performance mapping of the oven
  • If you found our website by typing in the following keywords then Airflow Group can design, manufacture, supply and install to your specifications.
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